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Scandals Reduce Popularity of Foreign Brands

Recent scandals have confronted several commercial giants with crises of confidence from consumers, reported Monday's Beijing Morning Post.

Local media reported that various foreign firms were found in March to be turning out shoddy goods which posed threats to human use. The firms include KFC, whose sauces are accused of containingcancer-causing Sudan-1, SK-II, whose cosmetic products reportedly have hazardous contents and Johnson & Johnson's, whose baby lotionproducts were found to be problematic.

Despite strenuous efforts to return to normal, the firms have found their popularity decline greatly in less than one month.

A report by the China Social Investigation Institute, released Sunday, said that 21 percent of respondents in a survey will not buy products yielded by these firms, 27 percent will and 52 percent are not sure.

Respondents were selected from among 10 major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, which boast the country's top consumer markets.

The report also showed that 69 percent of respondents remain concerned about the scandals, a sign that the incidents have sparked deep concern among the masses.

When asked "which ways or attitudes taken by the three companies in handling their cases you consider satisfactory", 31 percent of the respondents answered KFC.

At the same time, 46 percent of the respondents said the ways taken by the firms in handling the cases will dampen their fidelity to the brands, 13 percent say they would not and 41 percent said they were not sure.

(China Daily March 29, 2005)

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